Alaska Department of Fish and Game officials opened Ketchikan Creek for sport fishing Thursday. But it may be a few weeks before anglers see large numbers of salmon in the creek.

This is the third year Deer Mountain Hatchery workers have released salmon into Ketchikan Creek. Hundreds of salmon should be in the waterway because of these releases, Deer Mountain Hatchery Assistant Manager Matt Allen said.

But environmental conditions like water temperature may affect how soon salmon return to the creek.

“Ketchikan Creek can get pretty warm, so that sometimes causes them to hesitate to move in if there’s a big thermal barrier between the saltwater and freshwater. But once they’re committed, they’ll move in,” Allen said.

The hatchery is not taking salmon from the creek to restock, meaning there will be more salmon to catch, Allen said.

Anglers at the creek are allowed to catch and take two king salmon during the fishing season according to Fish and Game regulations. Anglers can catch and take two salmon of other species per day from the creek. Each angler at the creek can only use one unbaited, single-hook artificial lure.

“Ketchikan Creek is a unique opportunity. There’s not many rivers or creeks that run through a town that have a returning run of king salmon. It’s hopefully a nice opportunity for people to pursue our state fish,” Allen said.